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Consumer Behavior Aggressively Tracked This Season

Black Friday shoppers
Michael Nagle, Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a big question for marketers: What kind of a buyer are you? And what are you willing to pay?

In the search for answers this shopping season, consumer behavior online and off is being tracked aggressively with help from advances in technology.

And it can happen whether buyers are on their work computers, mobile devices or just standing in the grocery aisle. The data can be connected with other personal information like income, ZIP code and when a person’s car insurance expires.

Retailers say these techniques help customize shopping experiences and can lead to good deals. Consumer advocates say aggressive tracking and profiling also opens the door to companies charging someone more online or denying them entirely based on their home price or how often they visit a site.

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